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Housing bill cuts reverse-mortgage fees

But confusion still looms around loan limits

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"Some people will say reverse mortgages are absolutely too expensive, while others will tell you they are the greatest deal on earth. What all the years of talking to seniors about reverse mortgages has taught me is that you can show somebody what something costs, but you cannot tell them what it's worth to them," said Ken Scholen, founder of the nonprofit National Center for Home Equity Conversion. Seniors scrutinize costs. They preciously guard their pennies, even when they have quite a few to spend. According to a 2007 AARP survey, cost is the reason 63 percent of reverse-mortgage shoppers ultimately decided against applying for the loan. In fact, 69 percent of actual borrowers believed that reverse-mortgage costs were high, the survey revealed. Some help is right around the corner. The Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 is several hundred pages long and includes many different items that will have to be implemented during the weeks ahead. One critical i...